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The Regions are Calling: Are Lawyers Leaving London?

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The Regions are Calling: Are Lawyers Leaving London?

The regions are calling as the cost-of-living crisis rages on, convincing many Londoners to explore an early escape plan. The Big Smoke’s legal market has felt the effects of the tumult, reflected in the widespread fear of another talent exodus.  

Talent troubles have defined much of the legal landscape in the past few years, but now the tug of war is pulled in a new direction, one that, for many, points away from London. That said, it hasn’t stopped the city’s legal market from thriving, even in a cooling economy.

For many, the raising living costs have made moving elsewhere easier to justify than ever before. Here’s what you can find waiting further afield (and why it’s worth considering).

Regional Prestige

Organisational prestige is still a major draw for legal candidates, and they don’t need to head to London to find it. Manchester has risen as a key legal hub in recent years (the second biggest in the UK), acting as a home to many globally renowned brands. The same can be said for other hotspots too, such as Birmingham, Leeds, Bristol, Liverpool, Cardiff, Edinburgh, and Newcastle.

The prestige on show across England’s regions is a prime example: DLA, Eversheds, Addleshaw Goddard and Squire Patton Boggs, to name just a few.

Broadgate welcomed Graham Wood, Director of Business Development at Codex Edge (the company behind the revolutionary legal market intelligence software, ATLAS), to the Let’s Talk About Legal podcast, where we explored the moving legal markets in much greater detail. Have a listen here: Spotify.

The promise of high-profile work in a more affordable part of the nation is an enticing one for many ambitious candidates, and speaking of affordable…

A Bigger Budget

Whilst London offers the highest wages around (25% higher than the second highest-paying region on average), they’re offset by the immense cost of living. Remote working presents a chance to change this, provided traditional law firms can scrap their historic reluctance to make the transformation.

Disposable income doesn’t need to be a pipedream. Many of the post-London candidates we speak to enjoy the chance to stretch their salary further without sacrificing their quality of living.

Property Prices

Following a decades-long trend, every borough in the Big Smoke is now unaffordable to local buyers, making it difficult to imagine a brighter tomorrow for the latest generation of workers.

Graduate lawyers with the option of prestigious work in a more affordable part of the UK have yet another factor to consider: the property ladder. Dedicating a significant portion of your wage to rent can take a toll on those hoping to reach the first rung.

The Legal Epicentre

London will retain its status as the epicentre of the legal market for the foreseeable future, with its inherent allure and abundance of opportunities making it the top spot for both firms and candidates alike. The question legal talent should be asking themselves is what they want to gain from an opportunity – a question that we can help answer.

We recognise the importance of recruitment’s role in helping shape not only the futures of incredible candidates but tomorrow’s legal space as a whole. Our specialists are equipped to support career mobility and guide those wishing to make the big moves, and we’ve got the global network to enable them.

If you’re looking for your next opportunity, reach out to Broadgate’s legal team today – we’re here to find you a role you can thrive in.